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The latest storm system Thursday again will deliver the hardest hit to northern Wisconsin, according to forecasters.
Southern Wisconsin is predicted to see mostly mixed precipitation, with snow totals increasing heading to the north, where winter weather advisories and winter storm warnings are in effect.
Most of the northern half of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is under a winter weather advisory, with the far northeast corner of Wisconsin and adjacent portion under a winter storm warning, as seen in the map with this story.
AccuWeather said there will be a band of 3 to 6 inches of snow, with some locales seeing up to 8 inches.
Thursday’s storm is the first in a parade of storms expected to move across the central U.S. through Christmas.
The second is expected later Friday through Saturday, though no heavy snow totals are forecast from that system.
La Crosse could see 1 to 3 inches Thursday, and under an inch Friday through Saturday. Eau Claire could see 3 to 5 inches Thursday, and perhaps an inch Friday through Saturday. Eagle River could see around 6 inches Thursday, and less than an inch Friday through Saturday. And Green Bay could see around 3 inches Thursday, and a mix of snow and freezing drizzle Friday through Saturday.
Madison should see less than a half-inch on Thursday, and no accumulation Friday through Saturday, when freezing drizzle will be the main threat, continuing the area’s trend of escaping snow from the systems that have dumped on northern Wisconsin in recent weeks.
The Weather Service said light snow is expected to spread into south-central and east-central Wisconsin later Thursday morning and early afternoon, possibly
mixing with light freezing drizzle for a time as surface temperatures warm, then transition back to freezing drizzle again tonight as temperatures fall.
From 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected from around Reedsburg and the Wisconsin Dells east to Montello, Berlin and Fond du Lac.
In Madison on Thursday, there’s a 60% chance for precipitation, with cloudy skies, a high near 37 and southwest winds at 10 to 15 miles per hour, gusting as high as 30 mph.
After an overnight low around 27, with some possible freezing drizzle into early Friday, there’s a 30% chance for rain and snow Friday, mainly after 3 p.m., with mostly cloudy skies, a high near 36 and northwest winds around 5 mph becoming calm.
The Weather Service said chances for precipitation are 40% Friday night and Saturday in the form of drizzle and snow before 1 a.m., then drizzle, then snow; 20% Saturday night before midnight for snow; 30% Monday mainly after noon for snow; and 20% Monday night before midnight for snow.
Skies over Madison should be cloudy Saturday, mostly sunny Sunday, mostly cloudy Monday, and mostly sunny Tuesday and Wednesday, with highs falling to around 24 Saturday, then near 20, 27, 22 and 26, and lows Friday night through Tuesday night around 28, 11, 11, 11 and 8.
27 Storm Track meteorologist Max Tsaparis forecasts a light snow mix developing mid-morning Thursday with up to an inch of accumulation in the Madison area and south, and 1 to 2 inches north of Madison; a light mix possible Friday evening and night; light snow possible Saturday; and a chance for snow on Monday.
Tsaparis said highs should range from 21 to 36 and lows from 9 to 27.
Wednesday’s high in Madison was 19 at 3:35 p.m., 12 degrees below the normal high and 40 degrees below the record high of 59 for Dec. 11, set in 1949.
Wednesday’s low in Madison was 6 at 1:11 a.m., 11 degrees below the normal low and 23 degrees above the record low of 17 below for Dec. 11, set in 1972 and 1976.
No precipitation was recorded at the Dane County Regional Airport on Wednesday, leaving Madison’s December and meteorological winter (December through February) precipitation total (rain plus snow converted to liquid) at 0.08 inches, 0.68 inches below normal. For the year, Madison has received 44.94 inches of precipitation, 11.44 inches above normal.
Madison’s record precipitation for Dec. 11 is 1.11 inches, set in 1965.
With no snow on Wednesday, Madison’s December and meteorological winter total stayed at 0.3 inches, 4.4 inches below normal. For the snow season (since July 1), Madison’s total stayed at 16 inches, 7.2 inches above normal.
Madison’s record snowfall for Dec. 11 is 5.3 inches, set in 1904.
Photos: Remembering Madison's Groundhog Day blizzard of 2011